WHITEHOUSE, Ohio — Anthony Wayne Local Schools is increasing safety protocols before students head back to class this week by hiring a second school resource officer.
The officers are responsible for knowing the ins and outs of the buildings, developing safety procedures and protocols and, most importantly, keeping everyone safe from potential threats.
AWLS Superintendent Jim Fritz said he has two children who previously attended the school district and knows how important school safety is.
"We want students to feel safe and secure because we know that's part of the foundation they need in order to be successful and learning in the classrooms," he said.
The new school resource officer, Ashley Kunesh, has been with the Whitehouse Police Department now for more than a year. She also said the safety of the students is her priority but is looking forward to building long-lasting relationships with the kids and the community as well.
"Obviously the safety of our kids is first and foremost our top priority," she said. "But other than that, I'm just looking forward to being a positive influence on as many kids as I can."
Although Gov. Mike DeWine signed House Bill 99 in June, which allows school districts the option to arm employees, Fritz said AWLS has not implemented it. The only guns allowed in the building are with the two school resource officers.
Both officers will be at school on the first day on Thursday.